Gardeners’ World experts share which vegetables to plant now for best results come summer01/03/2022
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Gardeners’ World has shared which vegetables are best to grow now for best results come late spring and summer. There are three kinds of vegetables that can be sown from seed this month: chillies, aubergines, and basil.
According to Gardeners’ World, many chilli varieties are available to buy in supermarkets, but gardeners will have a much greater range to choose from if they grow chillies themselves.
They are very easy to grow from seed, the experts said, and are best grown from containers.
This means they are perfect for a sunny patio or balcony.
Ideally, gardeners should grow them in a greenhouse or raise them in pots on a south-facing patio or windowsill.
Gardeners’ World explained chillies need a long season to grow, so it’s best to sow seed as early as January in moist, peat-free compost, and keep them in a heated propagator under a growing light, to prevent seedlings going leggy.
Next, pot them on into individual pots when the first leaves start to appear.
Keep potting on if growing in pots or plant them out in the greenhouse when night temperatures exceed 10°C.
Once the plants have started flowering, and harvest chillies, gardeners should feed the seeds weekly with a high potash fertiliser.
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Aubergine is another vegetable that can be planted now for the seeds to harvest from July to October.
Like chillies, it is best to sow aubergine seeds indoors as early as January if you have a heated propagator, and from March if you don’t.
Pick out seedlings and transplant them into individual 7.5cm pots when the first leaves appear.
Eventually, plant the seeds into the ground or individually in 30cm pots of peat-free, multi-purpose compost.
If growing aubergines outside, Gardeners’ World recommended waiting until all risk of frost has passed before moving them to their final growing positions.
The experts went on to advise how to encourage the plants to fruit, explaining that gardeners can either gently tap or shake the flowers with water to help release the pollen, or grow pollinator plants nearby to entice pollinators.
Pinch out the growing tips of the main stems of your aubergine plants when 30cm high to encourage side shoots to develop.
Furthermore, as with chillies, use a high potash fertiliser or tomato feed once the plants have started to flower.
Gardeners’ World recommended growing basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position out of direct midday sun.
To get a quality crop that lasts, it is best to grow the plant in a container.
The experts advised starting the seeds off in pots of moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost on a warm – but not sunny – windowsill.
When seedlings are big enough to handle, pot them on into individual pots filled with a peat-free, soil-based compost.
Then, put them outside in early summer after the last frost.
It is best acclimitasing them to outdoor conditions first, standing them outside in a sheltered, lightly shared spot during the day, and bringing them back in at night, according to Gardeners’ World.
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